“The beauty of Wharton is that you can be part of multiple communities; and for me, the AAPI community has been a backbone to my Wharton experience.” — George Iwaoka, WG’23

At Wharton, there is great pride in the diverse contributions that the School’s Asian American and Pacific Islander students bring to both the MBA program and the wider Penn community. Wharton’s student-led international and cultural clubs serve as vibrant centers of engagement and allow students to share their cultures with each other. By honoring their rich traditions, these clubs unite students and facilitate meaningful connections.

These clubs are open to all and play a crucial role in nurturing a strong support system through events, networking opportunities, professional development, and group travel, all with the aim of fostering a tight-knit community.

Below, hear from Wharton MBA student leaders speak on the impact and strength of the AAPI clubs to which they belong at the School.

From George Iwaoka, WG’23, President of the Wharton Japan Club:

George Iwaoka

“The AAPI community at Wharton has been a great support system to stay connected to my Asian American identity. The beauty of Wharton is that you can be part of multiple communities; and for me, the AAPI community has been a backbone to my Wharton experience. As President of the Japan Club, being a leader has helped me stay connected to my Japanese heritage, but also provide a strong community for all international students.”


From Hao Feng, WG’24, President of the Greater China Club:

Hao Feng

“The AAPI community at Wharton plays a vital role in enriching the overall student experience. Student clubs such as Greater China Club, Wharton Asian American Association of MBAs (WAAAM), and Southeast Asia Club help promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures. These student clubs support the community through social, academic, and career development activities. By sharing its diverse cultural background, the AAPI community provides Wharton a vibrant, inclusive learning environment that helps Wharton students become true global citizens.”

From Jenny Niu, Ariel Aldrin, Jack Puntawong (all WG’24), Co-Presidents of the Wharton Southeast Asia Club:

The Southeast Asia Club at a networking session that overlooked Philadelphia.

“Southeast Asia Club warmly welcomes students, whether from the region or simply interested in it, creating a home away from home. Our vibrant community enhances student life by celebrating the diverse cultures, traditions, and experiences of Southeast Asia through exciting events. By fostering connections, we promote understanding and appreciation of our similarities and differences in culture, enabling us to learn and grow together.”



From Ginny Maceda, Hunter Dong, Vishoka Balasubramanian
(all WG’23),
all Co-Presidents of the Wharton Coffee Club:

Leadership of the Coffee Club at a Lauder event.

“It would not be an understatement to say that a lot of Wharton could not run without the contributions of the AAPI community. In the Coffee Club, we ensure that Wharton is not only well caffeinated with the best coffee, but we also strive to highlight AAPI coffee businesses and professionals to expand Wharton’s awareness of all the hard work that goes into their cups. Here, we were lucky enough to chat with Starbucks CEO and Wharton alum Laxman Narasimhan about how his story and how he plans to bring those values to his new role.”

— Abby Behrends

Posted: May 25, 2023

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